Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Moral Incongruence, Pornography Use, and Perceived Addiction: Alternate Pathways to Problems

Grubbs, Joshua, and Samuel L Perry. 2017. “Moral Incongruence, Pornography Use, and Perceived Addiction: Alternate Pathways to Problems”. PsyArXiv. October 11.

Abstract: Internet pornography use (IPU) remains a controversial topic within the empirical study of addiction and the clinical management of addictive behaviors. Whereas many people report feeling dysregulated in their use of pornography, mental health and medical communities are divided as to whether or not compulsive IPU is an addiction or some other category of problematic behavior. The present short review seeks to examine this issue more closely, with a focus on how alternate pathways to problems, such as moral disapproval and moral incongruence (i.e., feeling as if one’s behaviors and values about those behaviors are misaligned) might specifically contribute to self-perceived problems around pornography use. Through a review of recent literature, the present work seeks to consider the evidence that moral incogruence about IPU is a common phenomena and that it is associated with outcomes relevant to the study of addiction. Specifically, moral incongruence regarding IPU is associated with greater distress about IPU, greater psychological distress in general, greater reports of problems related to IPU, and greater reports of perceived addiction to IPU. The implications of this body of evidence for both clinical and research communities are discussed, and future directions for research are considered.

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